|Tappen, North Dakota
Glueckstal Lutheran Church Rural Tappen,
Kidder County, North Dakota
Prepared by Twyla Zimmerman, rural Tappen,
Around the year 1900, Heinrich Nagel was sent to
spread the Gospel among the people of south central
North Dakota. As a Lutheran circuit rider, he brought
the message of salvation to families in the Gackle,
Streeter, Kulm and Napoleon areas. Since there was
no church building, he traveled from farm to farm,
preaching at the settlers’ homes.
The settlers and pioneers saw the need for corporate
worship and in 1908 the first Glueckstal church was
built and made of sod, the same material out of which
the settlers constructed their homes. The sod church
was located one half mile south of the present site.
Among, the first families of the Congregation were
such names as Schauer, Werre, Albrecht, Lang, Reuer,
Winkler, Rittel, Neumiller, Job, and Mertz
The Glueckstal Church was one of the five congregations
served by Missionary Nagel, therefore, Rev. Nagel
could only be present every fifth Sunday. In his absence,
services were conducted by laymen, reading from a
book of sermons written in German.
The interior of the first Glueckstal Church was very
plain. Pews were a luxury which the settlers could
not afford. Each family furnished their own chairs
or buggy seats.
Glueckstal meaning “Lucky Valley” was
the choice as most of the members came from Glueckstal,
Russia and they wanted a reminder of their former
In 1913 the sod church was no longer large enough
to accommodate the membership and it was decided to
build a new structure. The lumber for the wooden church
was purchased from Thompson Yards, Inc. in Dawson,
ND. The plans for the the building were made by Frederick
Rittel and Konrad Lang with Jacob Werre, Sr. donating
the land. All the members helped built the church.
All services were held in the German language in
the earlier years and men were seated on the right
side of the church and women with the children were
seated on the left side until 1961.
Reuben Clarence Lang, son of Fred and Rose Lang was
the only son of the congregation to become a minister.
In June of 1985, the last regular worship service
was held. Glueckstal Lutheran Church has had a long
and eventful history. The faith of our forefathers
lives on as former members and families return for
visits and celebrations. The bell rings out among
the prairie lands exclaiming the love to worship,
thank and praise our Heavenly Father.